June 13, 2019
by Ariel Adams
At Baselworld 2019, Hublot introduced a totally new member of the Ferrari watch line with the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT. This is the second watch designed in direct collaboration with the Ferrari design department — which is important to note because most car/watch collaboration projects are, more or less, entirely designed by the watch brand itself. The Classic Fusion Ferrari GT follows the 2017 Hublot Techframe Ferrari that has a case and dial that is, in large part, created by the Ferrari design team directly. In my opinion, this fact is important in positioning the collectability of such a watch, since it actually comes from Ferrari, as opposed to just having the prancing horse logo on it as borrowed from the popular Italian supercar maker.
The launch of the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT was, in my opinion, mired by two things that, to at least a small degree, overshadow what is a very decent timepiece. First, despite the name of the watch, this is in no way a “Hublot Classic Fusion” case. The decision to give the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT collection the “Classic Fusion” name confuses even some people at Hublot. The good news is that the first round of watches is comprised of all limited-edition pieces, so, moving forward, Hublot has an opportunity to come up with a more distinctive and appropriate name for the collection that doesn’t erroneously mix these new Ferrari GT watches with Hublot’s other Classic Fusion timepiece line.
Second, despite having a beautiful Ferrari GT-style automobile in front of the Hublot booth at Baselworld — as is often the case at the show — the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT watch does not look as good in Hublot’s press images as it does in person. This happens from time to time (at least a few times each year) when, despite the best efforts of a detailed product photographer, the watch looks less impressive in the fancied-up images than in real life. I feel that images of this new Classic Fusion Ferrari GT case look a bit underwhelming and the dial, a bit generic. I do agree that, compared to some other Hublot timepieces, the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT lacks a lot of the identity of Hublot timepieces. In that sense, it is a very un-Hublot Hublot.
That said, on the wrist, the 45mm-wide, 13.15mm-thick (water resistant to 100 meters) Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is very comfortable and well composed. What it lacks in overall design originality it makes up for in handsome looks that blend a more elegant spirit with the sporty personality that Hublot and Ferrari have in their own distinct ways. If anything, the Classic Fusion name was added to this product line because the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is dressier than most other Hublot Ferrari products. Perhaps that is why Hublot and Ferrari wanted to combine it with the Gran Turismo (GT) lifestyle, which is more about long, comfortable (albeit fast and well-controlled) rides.
Available in three materials to start, the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT case is an interesting blend of elements that starts with a larger monolithic case structure with a screw-secured bezel. This latter element is more on the rough, industrial side and arguably helps break up the smooth curviness of the rest of the case. The dial has some revolving Arabic numerals on it and a lot of visual depth. Hublot makes use of its popular and well-performing in-house made UNICO automatic chronograph movements for the collection. The UNICO caliber HUB 1280 movement operates at 4Hz with 72 hours of power reserve and is composed of 354 parts. On the dial, it offers a 30-minute chronograph, as well as the time and a date indicator window. Despite the open-worked/skeletonized nature of the dial, the face of the watch is very easy to read in terms of the time. Some new design language is applied to how the subdials are created.
In addition to 18k King Gold (Hublot’s version of red gold) and titanium, the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT is available in a new 3D Carbon case material. It looks a lot like carbon fiber but is a different carbon formulation and is probably the most interesting looking of the three debut Classic Fusion Ferrari GT models. Hublot is banking on the titanium models being the most popular, as it is producing double the number of pieces of the Classic Fusion Ferrari GT in titanium as in 3D carbon or King Gold. Attached to the watch is a Schedoni leather strap with a comfortable rubber lining. The Hublot fold-over deployant clasp material matches that of the case. I do feel that our hands-on images of the Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT are more flattering than the brand’s own press images, but in person, these watches really shine. I think they do a great job, too, of opening up Hublot’s timepiece, making a relationship with Ferrari for those who have not been attracted to other Hublot Ferrari timepieces. The Hublot Classic Fusion Ferrari GT ref. 526.NX.0124.VR in titanium is a limited edition of 1000 pieces with a price of $22,000 USD; the ref. 526.QB.0124.VR in 3D Carbon is a limited edition of 500 pieces with a price of $27,300 USD; and the ref. 526.OX.0124.VR in 18k King Gold is a limited edition of 500 pieces with a price of $38,800 USD. See more at the Hublot website here.